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Iraqi cleric condemns attack on protesters

AFP/Karbala
Filed on February 7, 2020 | Last updated on February 7, 2020 at 11.43 pm
iraq, cleric, attack protesters

(Reuters)

Eight demonstrators were killed this week in attacks on protest camps by supporters of populist cleric Moqtada Al Sadr.

Iraq's top Shia cleric on Friday condemned recent deadly attacks on anti-government demonstrators, chastising security forces for not doing more to prevent violence in protest squares across the country.

Eight demonstrators were killed this week in attacks on protest camps by supporters of populist cleric Moqtada Al Sadr, including in the city of Najaf - home to Iraq's Shia religious leadership. In his weekly sermon delivered by a representative, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani condemned the bloodshed as "painful and unfortunate" and said state security forces are "indispensable" to keeping the country from "falling into the abyss of chaos."

"There is no justification for them to stop fulfilling their duties in this regard, or for anyone to stop them from doing so," Sistani said. Nearly 550 people have been killed in protest-related violence since October.



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